Advice from the Pros: Building a Career in Security Systems Integration
Each month we bring a leading PSA integrator to the stage to get to know them a little better with our featured integrator spotlights. Over the last year we’ve heard some great advice when we’ve asked these integrators:
“What is your advice to individuals who are looking to build a career in security systems integration?”
Good communication is key! Make sure to fully acclimate yourself with all aspects of the organization regardless of your role. — Tech Systems
Be a lifelong learner. The greatest value anyone has to their employer is making the bosses life easier. When you are constantly curious, learning and applying yourself you automatically make everyone’s life easier and your value to the employer continues to rise. This goes for any business. The security integration business is evolving rapidly and it’s hard to keep up. Figure out what part of the business you love the most and know everything there is to know about that specialty, while you apply your knowledge and best effort to everything you do. — ECD Systems
You will have greater success if technology interest you. Also, it is a small industry so protect your reputation by doing what say you will. — Southeastern Security Professionals
The universal number one challenge we face as system integrators and in the electronic security industry as a whole is the lack of talent. Recruiting for individuals with an industry background generally yields a very small pool when non-industry roles have large pools of candidates from which to choose. When recruiting prospective new employees for open positions, we share these facts with them. Gaining or enhancing electronic security experience will provide them with a long-term career that will become more valuable each year within the company and marketplace.
The major attractant to our industry, though, is the global need for security in business and our communities, which grows every day based on the world we live in; it will not change in our lifetime. The security industry is a fantastic and rewarding career; what we do on a daily basis truly matters when we’re protecting an individual’s or organization’s physical and human assets. — PASS Security
Locate a firm with a good reputation. Evaluate the right things about them. Do they care about the products and services they put out and take pride in work well done? Speak with their employees and understand the many tracks your career could possibly take. Bigger isn’t better most of the time. The biggest building and the shiniest vehicles don’t mean a thing. Are they a good fit for you and what can you offer them? A better gauge of the depth and things that matter is how they develop the bench. How do they take a person with a strong worth ethic and put them on a path to succeed? Get the right size company, one big enough to build a career at but small enough that you’re not a number and can see the differences your contributions make. — Integrated Security and Communications
Someone who is interested in helping people and solving problems tends to do well in this industry. While an interest in and an aptitude for technology is important, it really is more about using those skills to solve problems. One who possesses a curious nature, as well as being strategically sound in being able to identify how security solutions fit within a client’s business plan, tends to see the “big picture” we are trying to solve. Because we operate as owners, there is a tried and true expectation on how we all service our clients. Knowing the work doesn’t end once the project is installed helps us maintain a long-term perspective and quickly recognize technology, market and industry changes that may be of value moving forward. — Pro-Tec Design
My first piece of advice would be for them to call me on my personal cell immediately (I am easy to find on LinkedIn). The truth is none of us sat in kindergarten and told the teachers we wanted to work in the electronic security industry when we grow up. Most of us came from somewhere else on a different path. Many of our best team members grew up in this business as low voltage apprentice’s decades ago. Now some of our best and brightest came to us with nothing more than a diploma and a personal yearn for technology.
This industry is thirsty for talent. We are growing much faster than the demand for jobs while at the same time migrating to a different role as we had even 10 years ago. eVigilant has taken people without industry skill but a passion for security and tech from entry level to subject matter experts in a surprisingly short amount of time.
I would say that if you’re interested in technology and think this might be a career path to find a reputable company in your area and talk to them. If they are anything like us they will at least take your call. We understand that this industry is very specific. With the right drive and attitude, our training will provide knowledge and job security that few industries can rival. — eVigilant
Learn how to be an amazing contractor. IT centric, cyber-proof, Microsoft certified CPPs are awesome and necessary. But you also need people to get the work done. Do your own installs and take pride in your work. Do it right the first time and help others to understand the right way as well. At the end of the day, we’re electricians; be proud of that. Take pride in your people and the work you do; it is up to us to continue to instill a sense of pride in our tradespeople. — REECE Complete Security Solutions
Our advice to technical and professional individuals seeking careers in security systems is to continuously gain industry knowledge and stay on top of emerging trends, such as biometrics, perimeter security or detection and video analytics. Lanmor looks for employees who are flexible and open to a continuum of learning with a desire to broaden the scope of their skill set. — Lanmor Services
The security industry is an exciting industry in which to develop a career, especially for individuals that want to get engaged and see the impact they have on the country and world given the current environment in which we live and work. Specifically working with schools districts and higher-ed institutions in the task of keeping students safe is extremely rewarding. — Integrated Security Technologies (IST)